Cbr12bingo How To, BINGO BLACKOUT
I’ve had this book on the shelf for nearly 2 decades. It was published in 2002 (with a version 2 published in 2006), and I’m sure I got it soon after it came out. My husband and I were (and are) great fans of Alton Brown and loved “Good Eats” when it aired. We learned so much from Alton Brown, notably how to make the best chocolate chip cookies and how to make gravy from roux. Brown is an engaging and entertaining presenter and writer. You can hear his voice in your head as you read, and this is a really useful book to have on hand. It is not a collection of recipes as traditional cookbooks are, but rather an explanation of categories and techniques of cooking with recipes thrown in to illustrate. Brown describes himself as more like a mechanic than a chef, and as a result, he is able to clearly explain to the novice cook the how and why of cooking. Are you afraid to fry? Overwhelmed by Thanksgiving Turkey? Is your go-to sauce from a bottle? AB has your back and will lead you through the process of cooking so that you will become a more confident and skilled cook.
Brown divides his book into ten chapters plus a very informative appendix that has great suggestions for tools to have, how to keep it clean in the kitchen, and other books that might interest the reader. Each chapter is devoted to a cooking method and includes recipes that use the method plus plenty of interesting sidebars with historical facts, cooking tips and other fun facts related to the topic. The methods are: searing, grilling, roasting, frying, boiling, braising, brining, and microwaving. Two of the chapters — sauces and eggs — might seem strange additions, but method is key in creating sauces and in working with eggs. Done right, they are simply amazing (and often pretty simple to make); done wrong, and they can ruin your meal. For me, the most used/consulted chapters deal with roasting and sauces, and with big holidays just around the corner, this was a timely reminder for me on how to make sure that turkey is done to perfection. My spouse and I give thanks every Thanksgiving for Alton Brown’s explanation of roux and making gravy (which is so thick in our house that after it sits for a short while, it becomes what we call “gravy butter” and can be spread on a sandwich). Given the amount of time we are all spending at home and the coming cold weather, I might have to branch out and try some of Brown’s braising/stew recipes. He keeps his explanations simple, clear, and amusing. He really demystifies cooking and makes you feel like you could tackle any recipe once you have a basic understanding of the cooking principles at their core.
This book has aged very well and would make a great gift for folks who are striking out on their own and maybe aren’t super sure of themselves as cooks. Brown gives you clear information on how to approach cooking meats/main courses, and he offers very helpful suggestions for essential tools to have and why some are better than others. I’m Just Here for the Food is a kitchen staple and a good investment. Two thumbs up!